How to Deal With Difficult Customers


It seems as though in the past couple of weeks our office has had to handle situations with difficult people.

Not only were these people a bit combative in their speech; they did not want to meet in the middle to understand our side of the situation.

Encounters like this are always difficult, yet the more we learn to handle them the more we realize that we need to jump forward and skip the “trying to make them understand part” and go right to the “what can we do to make it better” part.

There are 10 principles to keep in mind when trying to communicate with difficult people.

  1. Let difficult people know you have heard them and have understood their point.
  2. They are probably doing the best they can to tell you what is wrong.
  3. Do not take what they say personally. It is just business.
  4. Keep your cool.
  5. Filter what you are hearing. People tend to exaggerate and make the issue worse than it really is. Base your thoughts the facts.
  6. Remember your ABCs (Always be courteous).
  7. Do not lose sleep over difficult people.
  8. Realize you cannot change someone’s personality.
  9. Focus on a good outcome.
  10. Do the best you can do to fix their problem.

Almost all people will appreciate the effort that you put in to try to fix their problem and give them a positive outcome. Even though it may be difficult on your end, let them know that you are happy that the situation turned out great on their end.



5 thoughts on “How to Deal With Difficult Customers

  1. Bingo —- skip the “trying to make them understand part” and go right to the “what can we do to make it better” part. Most customers don’t care why .. they just want it fixed. Too often we get caught up in trying to explain the why, which has the potential to irritate them even more. Once the situation is resolved, look for the why and see if it can be prevented or the disappointment minimized if and when it does happen again.

  2. 11. And if all else fails, kindly say that you are sorry that you cannot meet their needs and satisfy them and ask them to take there business elsewhere where they may be better served.

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